UK

Sharp rise in anti-Muslim hatred in UK ‘with women bearing brunt’

In almost two-thirds of cases women were the target of attacks.

Muslim women have been the target of hate in almost two-thirds of incidents recorded by Tell Mama
Muslim women have been the target of hate in almost two thirds of incidents recorded by Tell Mama (Dominic Lipinski/PA) Muslim women have been the target of hate in almost two-thirds of incidents recorded by Tell Mama (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The number of Islamophobic incidents reported to an organisation monitoring anti-Muslim sentiment and abuse in the UK more than tripled in the four months since the Hamas attacks in Israel last year.

Tell Mama, which describes itself as the leading agency on measuring anti-Muslim hate, said there were 2,010 cases of this kind between October 7 2023 and February 7 this year.

This was a steep rise from the 600 cases reported for the same four-month period a year previously.

Of the total cases recorded after the Hamas October 7 attacks, 1,109 were classed as online cases while 901 took place offline, Tell Mama said.

Incidents it recorded included a Muslim woman in Islamic clothing being assaulted on a bus in east London and told “you Muslims are troublemakers”; a written death threat to worshippers at a mosque; a woman whose car was vandalised with a Nazi swastika; and cases of Muslim women being called “terrorists”.

In almost two-thirds of cases women were the target of attacks, which the organisation said “once again demonstrates that British Muslim women have borne the majority of the brunt of anti-Muslim hate during this time”.

Iman Atta, the organisation’s director, said: “We are deeply concerned about the impacts that the Israel and Gaza war are having on hate crimes and on social cohesion in the UK.

“Hate crimes against British Muslims have substantially risen and our data clearly demonstrates this.

“This rise in anti-Muslim hate is unacceptable and we hope that political leaders speak out to send a clear message that anti-Muslim hate, like antisemitism, is unacceptable in our country.

“There really is no space for hate and, more than ever, it is essential that we sustain, nurture and protect the bonds that we have between communities, so that we all feel valued and safe in our communities and in our country.”

Tell Mama was founded in 2012 and is supported by the Department for Leveling Up, Housing and Communities.

Earlier this month, the Community Security Trust (CST) said it had recorded an “explosion in hatred” against the Jewish community since the October 7 attacks.

More than 4,000 antisemitic incidents were recorded in the UK by the Community Security Trust (CST) in 2023, with the all-time high being put down to the “sheer volume” which took place following the Hamas attacks.

The CST said there was a total of 4,103 antisemitic incidents in the UK in 2023, up from the previous annual record of 2,261 incidents which had been reported two years previously.

A Government spokesperson said: “There is no place for hate in our society and we condemn the recent rise in reported anti-Muslim hatred and antisemitism.

“We expect the police to fully investigate all hate crimes and work with the CPS to make sure the cowards who commit these abhorrent offences feel the full force of the law.

“Following recent events, we have also made further funding available to Muslim and Jewish communities, to provide additional security at places of worship and faith schools.”